Africa CDC kickstarts initiative in Nigeria as FG inaugurates SCALES 3.0
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, has commenced the implementation of the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative in Nigeria to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccination. Through this partnership, the Federal Government of Nigeria has launched its mass vaccination campaign, ‘SCALES 3.0’.
The implementation of the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative will synergize the efforts of the Government, Africa CDC, and other partners in increasing COVID-19 vaccine uptake. The implementation campaign will focus on Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE), vaccine capacity, logistics, and vaccine surveillance to enable Nigeria to reach its COVID-19 vaccination target.
“Today, as the Federal Government of Nigeria is launching the SCALES 3.0 strategy, the African Union and Africa CDC is honored to partner with the country in ensuring that the goals set out in the SCALES 3.0 strategy succeed, providing resources to the country through the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative. The Saving Lives and Livelihoods Program will support demand generation activities and the administration of vaccines in 11 States across Nigeria,” said Dr. Bakary Sonko, Country Coordinator (Nigeria), Africa CDC Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative.
In this support, the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) have planned to deploy 5,002 vaccination teams in 11 states, targeting to vaccinate over 1.3 million persons every week.
During the official launch of the country’s SCALES 3.0 Strategy, Boss Mustapha, Nigeria’s Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), emphasised the need to take the vaccines to the people, noting that what the country is dealing with is not the shortage of vaccines but vaccines hesitancy by the people.
“Nobody is safe until Nigeria has achieved 70 percent vaccination of its eligible population. Integrating the COVID-19 vaccination with routing immunisation will help achieve greater results and the number of people vaccinated. As of August 3, 2022, only 24.4 per cent of the eligible population is vaccinated. By our set target even as Presidential Steering Committee, we ought to have gone beyond this.” Mustapha said.
Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said the SCALES 3.0 Strategy would help to accelerate the integration of COVID-19 vaccination into routine immunization to ensure that none is done in isolation. He thanked all partners for their support and contribution to the vaccination drive in Nigeria. “We have a long way to go; the total performance falls short of our desired goals as only three states – Nasarawa, Jigawa, and Kano– have vaccinated over 50% of their eligible population,” he said.
Also speaking at the launch, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), stated that after the launch of SCALES 2.0 Strategy six months ago to ramp up integrated vaccination, Nigeria’s vaccination coverage progressed from a 17million to 40 million which represents over a 100 per cent increase. “The SCALES 3.0 would be using a human-centered demand generation design to address low COVID-19 perceptions in the country,” he said.
The ultimate goal of the Africa CDC through the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is to accelerate the achievement of the goal set out by the African Union to have 70 per cent of the African population vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of 2022.